Fifteen years to the day, I will move from my first home into a new one to begin new adventures with my family!
When God wants to move you, He may really MOVE you! Seventeen years ago I moved from MN to TX. Texas? Hmmm... I always loved Mexican food, but Texas?!? Fifteen years ago God led me to purchase a home for my two boys and I. At the time it seemed too much for us. We moved from 900 sq feet to just under 1800 and had plenty of room to spare for the three of us. Well, as always God knew what He was doing and I just needed to follow along. Only a few weeks after buying the home in Pflugerville, I met my love and my best friend, Daimeian Underwood. Ten months after that we were married and he moved into the home. Occasionally his son Christian would join us. A few more years and we would add Liana and Riley to the home. In the last year or so, Tyler moved out, Christian moved to CO and we added a sixteen year old boy named Cody. NOW - God has called us to move to a much larger home on a ranch near Luling & Gonzales, Texas!
For seventeen years I thought I'd move back north someday. I always had the thought in the back of my mind that we would move somewhere, but didn't know when or why. Over the last couple of years it was impressed upon me to clean out and purge many items in the home as well as organize as much as possible. In January I had a dream that I was standing in our kitchen and the whole house was empty. God said, "Go, you're leaving tomorrow." That's all. Just move - quickly! Hmmmmm....I've asked myself many times over the years, would I be ready and willing to go when and were God tells me to? Would I be able to trust my husband's leading when it was time to go? What if it's not where I wanted to go? What if it wasn't NORTH!? Well, after reading through the book Radical by David Platt with my husband I knew I needed to be ready for whatever in order to serve God at a deeper level. So, I surrendered my dream of a cooler and greener climate to the Lord so I could be content in our home and serve God faithfully without constantly wondering when I could move north of Austin, TX. A few days after surrendering, it was clear that God was leading our family an hour south! SOUTH!?!
What? How? Why? When? Where? My mind was racing the moment I read it, the website that began what will change my life forever. God led me to the website FamilyLinkKids.com Friday morning, January 27th. On the page for this Christian foster and adoption agency founded by friends of ours was information about Legacy Ranch, the culmination of a vision in waiting for Mariah Wilde, and unknowingly, for our family. Legacy Ranch sits on 156 acres on the San Marcos river. The property will host residential families to foster large sibling groups as well seniors on site, retreats for foster families, trainings on site, organic gardening, 4H, activities, skill training, horses, cows, chickens...and the list just seems to go on. AMAZING RIGHT?! Minister to kids, share the gospel, learn to tend the land... WOW!
So here it is one month later and the licensing process is nearly done. Our oldest son Tyler will move into our home and manage it as a rental. Currently we believe that all rooms will be rented. We are excited about the ones who will be living there and are praying for them as two are brothers and will be starting their own business from our home. This last week Tanner, Liana, Riley and I spent time with my parents in KS. We aren't sure when we'll get to see them again due to the number of kids we will be fostering and their overall health. We celebrated my mom's 70th birthday while we were there and I am glad we were able to be with her. Over the next month we pack and move and prepare for an amazing adventure of fostering mulitple children. By the end of March we hope to be moved in and ready to take in several siblings that have been, or would be, separated.
Throughout the moving process and throughout our time once we are there, we, and everyone at the ranch, will need your prayers. We ask for prayers for strength, peace and discernment as we encounter challenges of parenting and challenges of helping the hurting heal. Please also pray for the children and families that come through our home that they would be blessed and experience God's grace and mercy and healing. We seek to be faithful servants of the Lord as we minister to many.
Are you able to help with renovations? Painting? Building? Our family has been down to the ranch several times to assist in preparing the homes that are currently on site. FamilyLink is in need of workers to paint, clean, build and install things. Buildings will need to be built for the community center and additional residential housing. We'd love to see several people come out each weekend to help prepare the current facitilities for move in and to help build the future homes and recreational center. We'd love to see you! FamilyLink is also in need of financial contributions and your prayers for favor in the grant process so that they can have the necessary funds to build additional buildings that are part of the big vision. If you are a Dell employee FamilyLink is set up to receive matched contributions through Direct Giving. Yay! Twice the impact.
Our family is moving into the host home. This building is quite large and will be the hub of activity for families and volunteers that come out to the ranch. It's exciting to be moving into a spacious place, but it will also be pretty empty with regards to furnishings. Moving into this home and serving a variety of ages of children will require furrniture and other items we simply don't have and don't have the money to purchase. Please pray for these needs to be met. The following items are things we need or desire to have for the home. If you have these and can donate them please let me know. If you can help get the word out as well and help us find them, that would be awesome!
Couch set (s)
Nice comfy chairs for living areas
Toddler picnic table / play kitchen / playground pieces etc.
Baby / Infant items like bouncy seat, exersaucers, boppy pillow etc.
Car seats / Infant seats / Booster seats
Bedding (sheets, pillowcases, etc)
Fridge / Freezer (preferrably one with freezer as a bottom drawer and refrigerator on top.)
We also need to find a 15 passenger van at a really good deal, or have one donated. This one is needed very soon and we have no funds to purchase one! Trusting God for this.
Items we would like to have, but aren't necessary :
King size bedframe
Bosch Mixer (Mine died and I liked to make homemade bread with this. I want to teach the kids how to do so as well.)
Piano (would love for the kids to learn how to play and for the family to play music together)
Thank you for taking the time to read the beginning of our adventures. Yes, this is just the beginning. I've been asked several times if I'm prepared for this big change and for the move and my response is, "I don't think anyone can really be prepared for something like this. BUT - I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that God called us to this mission and to this location. Therefore I KNOW that God will show up and is able to provide us what we need while we are there!"
May His name be praised and His works be accomplished!
Peace & Healing
Please pray with us for the many children that come through Legacy Ranch. Pray for safety, healing and the Lord's transforming work in the hearts and lives.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;